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Poster: light into ashes Date: May 5, 2009 7:14pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: why do sbd's from 72 and 73 sound better than 74?

There may be a few answers.

One, the Wall of Sound...as mentioned, the vocal microphones have a strange sound, and there may have been other equipment technicalities to deal with that affected the mixing. Also, mixing for the stage might have taken a lot more work, which is why on a lot of these tapes, the first song or two has really lousy levels (only a couple tracks turned on, for instance), until the mixer has time to fix it.

Also, who was the mixer....I don't have the notes here, but each Dick's Pick has the name of the person who recorded it, and I think it's Candelario most the time in '74. He might not have been as keen on getting a just-perfect tape mix as Bear and Betty were!
The Europe '72 shows, of course sound good since they were professionally recording them. Later in '72 Bear came back, and I think he was having some 'turf fights' with the others over who would get to do the recording....ironically, a lot of tapes from late '72 sound really poor, at least the circulating copies. A lot of '73 is pristine, Betty did some of those; but I'm not sure she did any '74 tapes.
Winterland October '74 had its own problems, caused by the film-crew recording. Not sure how they mucked it up so badly.
There are probably good technical answers, from those who know about live mixing.

(Also might be worth remembering, the crew often might have made a couple different tapes of each show! Here's a list of available Betty Boards for '71-73 that's online, it might be incomplete, but you'll notice how few there actually are, and also note that these tapes were for the crew, not for the band.)

02.18.71 Portchester, NY, whole show, Dolby A decoded
02.19.71 Portchester, NY, whole show, Dolby A *not* decoded
02.20.71 Portchester, NY, whole show, Dolby A decoded
02.21.71 Portchester, NY, whole show, Dolby A decoded
02.23.71 Portchester, NY, whole show, Dolby A decoded
02.24.71 Portchester, NY, whole show, Dolby A decoded
04.05.71 Manhatten Center, whole show, Dolby A decoded
04.06.71 Manhatten Center, whole show, Dolby A decoded
04.07.71 Boston Music Hall, whole show, Dolby A *not* decoded
04.08.71 Boston Music Hall, whole show, Dolby A decoded
12.14.71 Ann Arbor, MI, whole show
05.04.72 Paris, Fr, 1st set only
05.07.72 Bickershaw Festival, Other One to end of show
08.21.72 Berkeley, CA, 2nd set only
08.22.72 Berkeley, CA, 2nd set only
08.25.72 Berkeley, CA, 1st 45 minutes only
08.27.72 Veneta, OR, beginning of show through most of Dark Star
03.16.73 Nassau Coliseum, 1st set through middle of Playing, beg. of Dew to end
03.21.73 Utica, NY, whole show, water damage on tapes causes some distortion
03.22.73 Utica, NY, 1st set plus very end of Other One to end
03.24.73 Philadelphia, PA, Bobby McGee to end of show
03.28.73 Springfield, MA, WRS Prelude to end of show
05.26.73 Kezar Stadium, whole show
06.22.73 Vancouver, BC, beg. of show through most of Other One

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Poster: light into ashes Date: May 6, 2009 1:06pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: why do sbd's from 72 and 73 sound better than 74?

A couple corrections -
I checked the Dick's Picks notes from that era -
Betty only recorded the 3-28-72 DP. Bear recorded the Sept '72 DP's. All from '73 and '74 were done by Candelario. (Except for Winterland Oct '74, which was done by the not-so-expert Bill Wolf.) So the difference between '73 & '74 has to be in the equipment onstage.

And just to clarify, the screwed-up mixes at the start of many '74 tapes are simply because Candelario didn't set the tape mix before rolling. It has nothing to do with the sound onstage. They did do soundchecks (we have a few from '73/74) - but probably still needed onstage adjustments as the show started (as usual!) - which is why the tape often doesn't get adjusted for a few minutes.

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Poster: mcgannahan Date: May 5, 2009 9:30pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: why do sbd's from 72 and 73 sound better than 74?

maybe the drugs, too many damn drugs around.

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Poster: whirlwind dreamer 65-95 Date: May 5, 2009 10:15pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: why do sbd's from 72 and 73 sound better than 74?

cause danny healy and betty was one true spirit they had the chiricawa power!!! wwd> dreamer!!bob two